User Journeys are Integral in the Creation of a Seamless User Experience
BY: Morgan Withee | 7/19/22
What is a user journey, and how does it benefit my website?
Web strategy without user journeys is like getting on a bike without knowing how to ride it. You may hit a stride, and it might be the most incredible ride of your life, but you also might fall on your face. Better to start with the training wheels first. The beginning stages of user research will better prepare you for your project ahead instead of diving headfirst into the unknown and hoping for the best.
User Journeys help us jump into the shoes of a potential segment of users going to the website to perform specific tasks. It allows us to determine where certain pieces of content or functionality may need to go as the user navigates through the site. This helps to inform the UX and the content strategy further. User Journeys can bring up critical points of interest a potential user might have or need that the current website experience lacks. Or, if you do not have a website yet, it might bring to light a feature or piece of content they may require that you didn’t otherwise catch while preparing for a new online experience.
What sort of information is included in a User Journey?
User Journeys are typically created based on a previously created Persona (for more information, read our blog post on Personas). The user journey typically takes the persona and details a general path this segment of users may take to reach their specific online goals.
There are four overarching stages of a User Journey:
- Awareness & Engagement: Activities the user may perform to begin to find answers to their question or pain point. This also helps to inform the content strategy and SEO to help drive users to the site.
- Education & Consideration: The user finds your website, and they start to investigate.
- Decisions & Conversion: After considering and researching your offerings, the user has decided to convert!
- Interactions & Implementations: The user is using your products or services at this stage.
At every stage of the User Journey, these insights are also considered:
- Interaction: A user makes a Google search, clicks a link, etc.
- Touchpoint: What device a user is on, i.e., phone, tablet, laptop, etc.
- Emotional Insights: The user’s feelings during this stage of the process, i.e., nervousness, frustration, etc.
- Supporting Content Types: What the user needs based on the above, i.e., clear text and terminology, simple charts, etc.
- Opportunities: User delights, i.e., links to resources or email signup, etc.
How do user journeys influence web design and strategy?
User journeys give us insights into where a customer might go on the website while performing specific tasks. They also give us the opportunity to remove roadblocks to user conversions and guide the user where we want them to go on the site. If you’re not developing user journeys based on your personas, you may miss critical pieces of content and functionality. You may also miss areas of opportunity in your information architecture, which directly informs your website’s navigation. Creating user journeys based on your personas provides more understanding of your userbase that will ultimately help inform the overall user experience.
Website design and strategy (UI and UX) heavily rely on personas and user journeys to determine the best path forward for the website’s layout, sitemap, and content strategy. Using best practices and design patterns alongside these two key deliverables provides a more straightforward understanding of what must live within the main navigation, what a user would expect to find on specific page types, and more.
For more information about User Journeys or any marketing-related questions, reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you. No gimmicks or sales pitches; we are always available for a free consultation – no strings attached!